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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Customs seize huge quantity of heroin in Karachi


Drug Enforcement Cell (DEC) of the Pakistan Customs’ Model Customs Collectorate of Preventive, Karachi airport on Monday recovered and seized 73.5 kilogrammes of fine quality heroin concealed in a huge consignment of herbal medicines. In pursuance of an authentic information passed on by the Additional Collector of Customs, Jinnah International Airport, Manzoor Hussain Memon to the effect that an attempt would be made to smuggle contraband heroin powder out of Pakistan under the garb of medicines in commercial quantity in connivance with Customs officials, a surveillance team under assistant collector, Jinnah International Airport, was constituted for mounting discrete watch over all the outgoing passengers and their baggage. During the course of surveillance, the team intercepted a Pakistani passenger Ghulam Mustafa in the early hours on Aug 21, with his four suitcases when he entered the customs departure hall to take Qatar Airways flight QR-319 for Dhaka via Doha (Qatar). Initial scanning of his baggage indicated the presence of medicine boxes inside all four suitcases. He was, therefore, detained and his baggage was thoroughly examined. Upon examination, the suitcases were found to contain heroin in huge quantity (735 packets) of herbal medicines packets kept beneath a small quantity of mixed allopathic medicines for deceiving the law enforcement staff. As per labels on the packets the herbal medicines were ought to be in paste form. However, when unpacked all the packets were found to contain off-white heroin powder of fine quality instead of herbal medicine pastes. The heroin powder, so recovered, was found to be 73.5 kilogrammes upon weighment. It is worth mentioning here that in the recent years, this is the biggest haul of the heroin recovered from the accompanied baggage of an outgoing passenger at Jinnah International Airport. Another aspect of the case is that the passenger had not only taken a deceptive route to Dhaka via Doha despite availability of daily direct fights to Dhaka from Karachi to hoodwink the customs staff. He entered the departure hall at Sehri time when a number of the law enforcement officers were busy in taking Sehri. Moreover, scrutiny of the passenger’s travel documents reveals that he is in fact a Bengali holding Aliens Registration Card as well as a Computerised National Identity Card that stands expired in 2009. Consequent upon recovery and seizure of contraband narcotics, the accused passenger, as well as two customs officials, who were facilitating in clearance, has been arrested and a prosecution case under Control of Narcotics Substances Act, 1997 has been registered. Third customs official involved in the case is absconding. Efforts are being made to arrest him also. Further investigations are in progress. staff report


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